How to erase an unwanted OS partition


I have recently installed a second (small) HDD which I have partitioned and put on a fresh install of my OS.
My original bigger drive has the original OS on the 1st partition and then logical partitions for my data.

I have deleted all my applications and drivers and re-installed on the big disc when my new OS disc was the active system disc (I did this as I didn't know how to associate the new OS disc with the apps that were already installed and associated with the old OS).

My question is this... I want to put my swap file on the partition the old OS is residing on, however to make sure its on the fastest part of the disc I want to remove the OS files on it that are now no longer needed. If I format this first partition I am worried I will lose all the logical partitions where my apps and data reside as they are all on the same physical disc.

I never want to boot from the original OS, but what is the best way to make sure my swap file is in the optimum location on the first partition without the worry of losing data on the same disc by formating it.
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  1. This is not too hard. You must NOT Delete the first Partition that you want to clear out. Doing that risks damage to the HDD's Partition Table. BUT you CAN Format a Partition, which is NOT the same a Deleting the Partition. A Partition is treated by the OS as one "drive" with its own letter name. That letter name does NOT refer to the entire HDD unit - only to that Partition called by that name. The Format operation, which can be done from My Computer by right-clicking on that "drive" (one Partition) does nothing to the HDD unit's Partition Table. It wipes out and installs a new set of file-tracking system files on that Partition ("drive") only. I'd recommend a Full Format. In the most recent Windows OS versions (Vista and Win 7) a Full Format will also write zeroes to every sector to wipe out old data, then it checks the sectors and marks any bad ones with a special Windows character so that they are never used for data after that.
  2. Thank you. That seems like it will do the trick.
  3. waste.

    unless you put the swap file on a sepperate physical 'drive' or device, on a sepperate channel
    than the drive with the OS the system is using, you will see 0 gain in performance.
    (right, a waste if thought).
  4. yes to the question of whether an IDE disk drive has a "sweet spot".

    sata channels dont attach 2 drives like a pata interface does. so if you have them available, use them, they are faster.

    with a legacy IDE hard drive interface, ie; master/slave configuration on an 80 wire IDE cable, only one device can be addressed at a time, SO, what you can do is use IDE1 for the OS drive and a second drive for file storage, with the dvd/cd rom drive and a 2Gb drive for a system swapfile on the second IDE channel.

    if you have a 2Gb compact flash or sdhc you can get an ide adaptor and use that for a swapfile storage address.
  5. I probably didn't explain it well. If you look hard at my text you will see the result will be that my swao will be on a different "physical" drive and different controller to my active OS.
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